WHILE football fans have been engrossed in the World Cup a mini-drama unfolded
at the first national youth football tournament after the governor of Prey Veng
withdrew his team home at the climax of the final because they could not juggle
Youths aged between 11 and 14 were selected to represent their
provinces in a knockout tournament running from June 9-11 which saw Prey Veng
and the Phnom Penh based World Trade team qualify for the final.
end of regular time the teams were tied and the organizer of the tournament Faye
Diamil ordered a juggling competition. The winner would be the team able to keep
the ball in the air longest with their feet.
Senegalese Diamil said:
"The governor of Prey Veng who managed the team realized they were no good at
juggling. He wanted to change the regulations but was told this was impossible
so rather than face defeat he simply took his team home in bad
Diamil, who is an adviser to the National Olympic
Committee, said thousand of disappointed fans, who took time and spent money to
see Prey Veng, tore up their tickets and left the Olympic Stadium and went home
He said: "This is the fourth time in six months teams have
been bad sports and gone home halfway through tournaments. I am afraid this bad
habit may happen again when a team is selected to play in the international
matches against Thailand very soon."
He suggested the Olympic Committee
should take action to ban any team who does not respect the rules and
Dr May Samedi, First Vice Minister of the National Olympic
Committee of Cambodia, said: "The Committee would create regulations which would
stop the bad habit of teams walking out in the middle of tournaments. The
Committee can guarantee this sort of thing won't happen in international
The secretary-general to the Olympic Committee, Meas Sarim,
said: "Due to financial problems the teams had to take responsibility for
covering their own costs. Some teams found they couldn't afford to stay and
finish tournaments. The committee understands their problems."